Texas House OKs letting adoption groups deny non-Christians

Posted May 12, 2017

Representative James Frank said the bill is created to address the state's foster care crisis by making "reasonable accommodations so everyone can participate in the system".

But civil advocates say it violates the Constitution by funding discrimination with taxpayer dollars. It would also apply to programs and organizations that provide assistance to abused or neglected children, counseling services for children and parents, programs that offer support for foster and adoptive parents, and organizations that provide family support services or "family preservation services".

Supporters of the bill, like the Plano-based Liberty Institute, say it protects religious freedom and increases the pool of prospective adoptive and desperately-needed foster care families by allowing faith-based organizations to stay in business and continue providing services while upholding their religious principles. There are now 17 pending bills that encourage discrimination in the Texas Legislature, according to the ACLU.

The Texas House of Representatives on Tuesday gave their initial approval to House Bill 3859, which would allow adoption and foster agencies to reject potential parents based on religious objections.

Texas and South Dakota have gone further, legislating protections for state-funded groups.

James Frank (R-Wichita Falls), would prohibit the state or any state contractors from taking "adverse action" against a child welfare services provider that declines to provide a child-care service that conflicts with their religious beliefs. The bill now goes to the Texas State Senate. Midnight Thursday is the deadline for the House to pass bills that originate in that chamber, meaning hundreds of pieces of legislation will all but die if not approved by then. It isn't in the best interest of a child to deny them a qualified, loving family simply because that family doesn't share all of the tenets of the placing agency's faith. "As a mother, it's infuriating to see anti-LGBTQ politicians do literally anything, including harming a child's future, to drive their discriminatory anti-LGBTQ political agendas forward". HB 3859 will only exacerbate the challenges faced by LGBTQ young people.

"We believe there is room for all of us to care for these children, and we believe this bill ensures the inclusion of everyone while enabling us to adhere to our deeply held religious convictions", he added.

A final vote is set for later Wednesday in the House.

As per various reports, which were studied by experts in this matter, who didn't disclose the matter properly, but said five other states in the country thinks this new law of Texas will do good to the state. The bill would shield agencies from liability even if they refused to provide services to same-sex couples, people of other faiths, unmarried people, single women, and divorced people. Last month, the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services reported that 65 children had been sleeping in the Child Protective Services offices or other temporary living arrangements in March.